Nobody's Baby But Mine, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

>> Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I finally got around to rereading Nobody's Baby But Mine, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Genius physics professor Dr, Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won't be easy. Jane's super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she's determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone...well..stupid.

Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars' legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane learns too late that this good ol'boy is a lot smarter than he lets on — and he's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy baby-mad schemer. The Explosion A brillant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood...A take no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender...Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?
I was right. I seem to have grown into SEP's books, because this time I actually "got" what was so wonderful about NBBM. An A-.

The actual setup for the story was more than a little stupid. First thing, I'm no expert, but really, all that about "intelligence tending towards the mean" may be correct, but a smart scientist like Jane being so sure that she could determine her child's intelligence simply by her choice of father sounds remarkably idiotic. Plus, I might be wrong, but can't one kind of pick and choose at a sperm bank? Read a kind of résumé, if you will, for each donor? They must have some non-medical-student samples there! This kind of contrived, "only in romance novels" situations are really irritating. Plus, I don't enjoy the kind of humour that relies on making the heroine look like an inept idiot, so I thought the whole first part of NBBM was not so good.

Luckily, once Jane got pregnant and she and Cal were married and went to Salvation, the book improved 100%. Their relationship was a delight. I especially enjoyed the way Jane realized Cal was too dominant and controlling,a nd made sure he couldn't run roughshod all over her. And the best part was that Cal loved the fact that she stood up to him and kept him on his toes. He seemed to genuinely enjoy the fact that she was as smart as he, and that she gave as good as she got.

And these two liked each other, which is something I always enjoy. Cal disliked her at first, of course (deservedly. I mean, what Jane did was wrong! I hated it in that awful book, Take Me, and I hated it here, though at least Jane felt guilty about doing it!), but he soon started liking her and enjoying being with her.

My only complaint about this part of the book was how, when Jane wsa rude to Cal's parents in order to keep them from growing too fond of her and suffering when they got divorced, it was implied that one her worst deeds was not going to church and not being a believer. It was right up there with being rude and condescending. Nice touch, that. As an agnostic, I was not amused.

I liked the secondary storyline very much. Cal's parents' story was sweet, and I liked how the author handled it. It was interesting to see a relationship that had been seemingly happy for almost 40 years but still had a fatal flaw that had to be fixed.

The ending was nice, too, and I loved to see Cal grovel (cruel, me?). He knew he had to prove his love, and he did it, all right!

I now find myself wondering if I shouldn't try Dream a Little Dream. With this one, it wasn't that I didn't "get" it, no, I hated it! I hated it so much that I traded it the first opportunity I got, even if that left my SEP football series incomplete. I just couldn't stomach a heroine so dumb that she could have married that asshole. Still, I have a friend who has it and can lend it to me, so I might borrow it at some point.

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